More Government Less God
I just came across an interesting new study. A study that found that when people can get their “needs” from a government the less likely they will turn to religion.
The Miami Herald is reporting on the study and the “needs” that people are looking for, those physical needs for example are healthcare, education and welfare.
The study authors are Miron Zuckerman and Chen Li of the University of Rochester and Ed Diener of the Universities of Utah and Virginia. The study is titled “Religion as an Exchange System: The Interchangeability of God and Government in a Provider Role,” and was published April 12, 2018 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
In the study the researchers concluded:
that if the function that religiosity provides can be acquired from some other source, the allure of religion will diminish…If a secular entity provides what people need, they will be less likely to seek help from God or other supernatural entities. Government is the most likely secular provider…We showed in two cross-sectional analyses, one using world countries and one using states in the United States, that better government services were related to lower levels of religiosity.
I find these conclusions interesting but I do not know what to make of them. Does this mean the people who sought out a religion only sought out that religion to supply them with their physical needs and not their spiritual needs?
How did these researchers come to their conclusions? They stated that they:
measured government services by looking at how much each state or country spent on health and education as a percentage of gross domestic product. Then researchers compared those numbers with data about religion that Gallup collected from 455,104 people across 155 countries, according to the paper. That's nearly 3,000 respondents from each country, researcher said.
After reviewing all of this data they went on to conclude that:
If the benefits acquired in the religious exchange can be acquired elsewhere, religion becomes less useful…the power and order emanating from God can be outsourced to the government.
The fact that people who would substitute government for religion is very concerning to me when I consider the future of our country and other countries. A religion or higher being is not there to supply you with your physical needs; that religion is there to supply you with your spiritual needs. Yes religious organizations do support charity but that charity comes from their love of people and doing “God’s” work.
Speaking for the citizens of the United States my concern comes from the fact that the more people rely on government to provide them with their physical needs the more enslaved they become to that government and the people who run it.
Do you believe this will only worsen the downward ethical and moral slide our country has been on in the recent decade or two?